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RE: [GTh] Gospel of Judas

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  • Paul Lanier
    Hi Judy, ... My interest in Gospel of Thomas is not in whether or not the sayings are more authentic than those in the canonical gospels, but rather in the
    Message 1 of 47 , May 2 9:33 AM
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      Hi Judy,

      >
      My interest in Gospel of Thomas is not in whether or not
      the sayings are 'more authentic' than those in the canonical gospels, but
      rather in the sort of community from which it might have arisen.
      >

      Thanks, that is also my interest. I am not sure 'authenticity' means much anyway, aside from connoting a vague authority. I think it may be possible to determine some specific historical relationships between early Jesus communities.

      > I try to find a balance between a literal interpretation of Scripture and going overboard the other way, so am always very interested when people argue points of view that are significantly removed from orthodoxy to understand why they have
      that perspective.
      >

      I like what Elaine Pagels said recently, that our impression of what is believable is conditioned by what is already familiar. I would also suggest the terms 'orthodox' and 'balance' are perhaps too value-laden; their use can suggest other views are less valid. Even among orthodox communities, what is considered correct evolves within a narrow paradigm. So I think adopting a mode of thinking such as orthodox, or even allowing it to set boundaries, really means accepting in some sense a specific doctrinal approach with its doctrinal authority.

      I would also suggest most church dogma has conditioned our thinking to such an extent that considering real historical possibilities nealry always conveys a sense of impossibility, at least initially.

      Paul


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    • pmcvflag
      Hey Jack Sorry I left your post hanging there for so long. I know the conversation has kind of moved on, but I thought now that I can I would still jump back
      Message 47 of 47 , May 28 10:40 AM
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        Hey Jack

        Sorry I left your post hanging there for so long. I know the
        conversation has kind of moved on, but I thought now that I can I
        would still jump back there and answer your point.

        >>>I don't agree. Eusebius appears to have had much more common
        sense and he did have the resources of Pamphilus' Library in
        Carsarea. Eusebius was sympathetic to Arius and, post Nicaea I,
        charged Alexander for misrepresenting Arius..which took a lot of
        testicular fortitude, IMO.<<<

        Understood. However, I would point out that the evidence you give
        for believing Eusebius is based essentially on personal impression
        and anecdote. I concede that generally that is all we have to go on
        in most cases like this. My own observations about Eusebius are
        generally based on equally questionable evidence ;)

        For instance, I believe that Eusebius made up the whole Constantine
        conversion story for political gain. I also don't write out the
        possibility that he was directly involved in the Testimonium
        Flavianum hoax.

        Of course, it would be unfair to attack Eusebius in order to
        question the Abgar letters, so I don't mean to do so. Just because
        he may have forged other documents doesn't mean he forged these. I
        have heard the theory that it was Abgar iv who forged them (obvious
        motive), but again that is speculation.

        I would be more interested to hear in more detail your textual
        criticism of this situation. More directly Jesus' response is
        obviously dependant on John, and indirectly against Thomas. The
        theology it presents is obviously late (just as "churchy" as the
        supposed Abgar letter). Since I have never actually seen a serious
        academic critical analysis that placed any part of these letters
        (whether Abgar's or Jesus' side) to a little before Eusebius (if not
        by Eusebius), I am willing to hear a case for earlier dates...
        though I still can't take an argument for an actual origin in Jesus
        himself seriously.

        Karl Nygren
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